2007: A Deadly Year for Journalists

December 31, 2007 12:02 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A report shows that with 64 journalists killed this year in connection with their work, reporting is more dangerous than it has been in more than a decade; press freedom is not a universal value.

30-Second Summary

Iraq is where 31 of the journalists died and for the fifth year in a row it has been the world’s most dangerous country for reporters.

Included in the study from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists is Zakia Zaki, who founded Peace Radio, in Afghanistan, soon after the fall of Taliban in 2001. She was shot by gunmen who broke into her bedroom and is survived by her six children and husband.

The report follows close on the CPJ’s launch last month of the Campaign Against Impunity, which focuses on the Philippines and Russia. The committee is putting pressure on governments there to bring those who have murdered journalists to justice.

In March this year, the International News Safety Institute reported that between 1996 and 2006 Russia was the second most dangerous place for reporters after Iraq.

This year has seen Russian journalist Ivan Safronov die in mysterious circumstances and the continued investigation into the death of internationally respected journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was assassinated outside her Moscow apartment in 2006.

The importance of the CPJ figures will be assessed differently around the world. A BBC study published on Dec. 10 showed how widely opinions on the importance of press freedom, a value enshrined in the First Amendment, differ around the world.

Globally, only 56 percent of respondents “thought freedom of the press was very important to ensure a free society,” writes the BBC.

In America, 70 percent answered in the affirmative when questioned on that matter; a figure that sank to 39 percent in Russia.

Headlines: Journalists in peril and press freedom in danger

The Committee to Protect Journalists
“World ‘divided’ on Press Freedom”

Background: International News Safety Institute report

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Key Players: Reporters detained or killed

Ivan Safronov

A Muscovite journalist investigating Russian arms deals, Safronov fell to his death on March 2, 2007. He plunged five floors down his apartment building’s stairwell, leaving no suicide note. In the wake of the death of the journalist Anna Politkovskaya, journalists were apt to suspect foul play.
Anna Politkovskaya
Allen Johnston

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